Instant Pot Apple Butter is a must make this Fall when you have lots of delicious, ripe apples in the house! It is full of warm and cozy spices, yet sweet enough to eat with a spoon with only a few simple ingredients! Slather it on scones, bagels, English muffins, or swirl it into oatmeal!
For years and years my grandfather made the best apple sauce! It was thick and chunky and full of cinnamon. It was so full of cinnamon that the whole thing was almost completely brown, instead of a light golden color. The flavor in this Instant Pot Apple Butter reminds me a lot of that apple sauce.
After I got my Instant Pot, I realized how amazing it was at making jams. Instant Pot Blueberry jam, Instant Pot Strawberry jam, and Instant Pot Peach jam can be made in the Instant Pot in a fraction of the time that you would make it on the stove. You won't go back to stovetop jam after you try it in the Instant Pot!
- What is Apple Butter?
- Why This Apple Butter Is Great!
- Ingredients You'll Need
- What Types of Apples Should I Use?
- Let's Make This Instant Pot Apple Butter
- Tips and Tricks
- What To Serve Apple Butter With
- Making Apple Butter Without An Instant Pot
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- 📖 Recipe
What is Apple Butter?
What's the difference between apple butter and apple sauce? Apple butter is basically pureed apple sauce. It tends to have a more concentrated flavor than apple sauce and also more spices.
Think apple jam instead of apple sauce. It has no dairy in it, so the only thing that it really has in common with butter, is that you spread it.
Why This Apple Butter Is Great!
- No need to peel the apples!- That's right! Don't peel! The pressure from the Instant Pot will cook the apple peels and make them disintegrate into the apple butter.
- It's full of warm, Fall spices. Cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Does it get cozier?
- The Instant Pot does all the hard work! Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure. Then blend it up and you're done!
- It's a great Meal Prep recipe! Make this on a Sunday and have it on your breakfast pastries throughout the week. It keeps beautifully in the refrigerator!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Apples- 3 pounds of apples which comes out to about 10 small apples, or 6 large apples. You can use your favorite apples here! Mine are gala so that is what I used.
- Maple Syrup- You'll want to use pure maple syrup here. Don't use the fake stuff, when it comes to maple syrup, pure is the way to go!
- Salt- Seems weird right? Salt in a sweet jam? It's necessary! It counterbalances the sweetness of the apples and maple syrup. Don't skip the salt!
- Spices- Vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice are my Fall spices of choice.
- Apple Cider- To intensify the apple flavor and prevents the Instant Pot from giving you the "burn" warning.
What Types of Apples Should I Use?
Gala are best, but Fuji are a great substitute. Macintosh or Golden Delicious are other varieties that could be made into apple butter. My rule of thumb is if I am going to eat it straight out of the refrigerator, I will use it to make apple butter or apple sauce.
Granny Smiths aren't great for apple butter as they are too tart and don't break down as easily as other apples. This is a great article that explains the different types of apples and what they are used for.
This recipe is also a great way to use up whatever type of apples you have in your refrigerator. You can use a mixture of apples. If the grocery store has tart apples or sweet apples, use a mixture of both in this delicious apple butter!
Let's Make This Instant Pot Apple Butter
Tips and Tricks
- No apple cider? A cup of water or apple juice would be substitutes for apple cider. You'll need some sort of liquid or the Instant Pot will give you a burn warning and won't cook.
- I don't have maple syrup on hand. Honey, granulated sugar, or brown sugar are all perfect substitutes for maple syrup. Depending on the type of apple you use, will depend how much added sugar is needed.
- This pressure cooker apple butter takes about 40 minutes from start to finish to make. The Instant Pot takes 10-15 minutes to build up enough pressure to cook the apples, then it will cook for 15 minutes, and then it will release the remaining pressure for another 15 minutes.
- The apple butter will thicken as it cools. When the apple butter is hot and freshly pureed, it will look too watery. As it cools, the sugars and natural pectin thicken to a perfect spreadable consistency.
- Other optional add ins- a squeeze of lemon juice once pureed brings out the brightness of the flavors or a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger ups the spice of the apple butter a little more.
What To Serve Apple Butter With
Think of apple butter like an apple jam and use it the same way you would use a berry jam. On a buttered Sourdough bagel, slathered on a Sourdough scone, top oatmeal with it, or added to a toasted English Muffin.
To make things really delicious, top some vanilla ice cream with apple butter! It would be like an apple pie a la mode without all the pie crust. Yum!
Apple butter can be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature.
Making Apple Butter Without An Instant Pot
If you don't have an Instant Pot you can still make this apple butter. It will take a little longer, but you can still do it!
- Slow Cooker Version- Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. After the cook time is up, blend the apple butter.
- In a Dutch Oven- Place all the ingredients in a large Dutch Oven and place it on the stove on medium-low heat. Cook the apples for two hours or until they are completely soft. Stir occasionally to make sure the apples and spices do not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. Blend it all up with an immersion blender when soft.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not a canning expert, so I wouldn't recommend canning this recipe. There are tons of resources out that when it comes to canning, but I would stick to the most reliable ones, like Ball.
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend this up in a regular blender. Wait until the cooked apples are cooled slightly and then add it to a blender or food processor to puree it. The apple butter is very hot when it comes out of the pressure cooker, which can be really dangerous when blending it up. Be super careful if you choose to blend it up hot.
Apple butter will last up to a week in the refrigerator in an air tight container. I like keeping mine stored in a glass mason jar. You can also freeze this in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. I would not freeze this in glass mason jars though.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
Did you love this Instant Pot Apple Butter Recipe? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5 star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
- More Instant Pot Recipes
- Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Egg Cups
- Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
- Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars
- Spinach and Feta Egg Cups
- Nutella Zucchini Bread
- Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with Tortilla Crust
- Light and Crisp Sourdough Waffles
- Sourdough Pumpkin Waffles
- Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Instant Pot Apple Butter
- 3 lb Apples about 10 small apples, or 6 large
- ⅓ cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- ⅓ cup Apple Cider
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Wash the apples and cut them into pieces, discarding the cores. No need to peel. The apple peels will melt away under the pressure of the Instant Pot.
- Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir to get the apples coated in the spices.
- Close the Instant Pot and set it on "HIGH" for 15 minutes.
- Once the cooking is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Open the lid and with an immersion blender, carefully blend the apples until it is to your desired consistency. Allow the apple butter to cool and then store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Gala or Fuji are my favorite apples to use. Golden delicious, ginger gold, or Macintosh would work as well. If you want to use Granny Smith, add more maple syrup to the recipe to counteract the tartness of the apples.
- Honey, brown sugar, or granulated sugar would be substitutes for maple syrup.
- The apple butter will thicken as it cools, so no need to add any sort of thickening agent to the recipe.